Psychosis and Cannabis
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 09/16/2013 in Medical Marijuana Research
Cannabis has been subjected to many taboo subjects. One of them relates to the impact that it has in a neurological level and the direct relation that it has with psychotic disorders. Marijuana is not for everyone, there are some individuals that are not the ideal persons to consume cannabis, mostly people associated genetically with psychotic disorders, but it can help with different diseases associated with the human brain. Educating people and helping define the profile for consumers according to their genetic history and present health history, allows a better judgment for the general well being of the population.
Medical Marijuana can cause a transitory psychotic state when abused; this state might be familiar with consumers that present episodes of paranoia under the influence of cannabis. However this state is temporal, and eventually fades away within a short amount of time, without long-term side effects. Though this has been tested many times in supervised studies, there are other variables to take in consideration. Marijuana contains 400 chemicals that allow it to cause a temporal effect on the consciousness state of who consumes it, it is important to understand that not all the cannabinoids contained in marijuana have been studied, leaving an enigmatic list of misinformation to be researched. It has been proven that CB1 receptor have and effect on the circuitry of psychosis and cognitive functions; affecting the amygdala, hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex (responsible of planning and coordination).
Cannabis surely has an impact on brain functions, but is this enough to cause psychosis in someone? Studies have revealed, that misuse of marijuana is higher amongst those who have schizophrenia signs or the disease itself. It is also proven that there is a 6-year range of risk to develop schizophrenia follows cannabis use at age of 18. However it can´t be proven that only the use of cannabis can affect the psychological and organic structure of the brain to produce psychosis. Though the incidence of marijuana abuse is higher amongst patients with schizophrenia, it has no direct impact to consumers especially after the age of 26.
There is a genetic vulnerability to take in consideration, patients with COMT gene, tend to metabolize dopamine faster, allowing to induce psychosis. The presence of this gene, makes the person more vulnerable to the psychotic state. It is imperative to know that the genetic structure reacts to the substance and not the other way around. Cannabis has showed to help people that suffer from depression, anxiety, anorexia and other mental disorders, which also have a genetic predisposition. However the genes involved are different compared to the ones related to schizophrenia.
Marijuana cannot change the brain structure, in other words, it can´t cause a permanent state of psychosis, it is recommended to stop the cannabis consumption for schizophrenic and psychotic patients. Although it seems to bring negative effects to that specific population, it is a great alternative for other mental disorders, bringing positive effects that surpass the ones acquired from pharmaceuticals.